Jesus vs Religion

Jesus vs Religion [FEATURE VIDEO]

Rob Stinson Featured Video 5 Comments

Why I hate religion, but Love Jesus.

Jesus vs ReligionThe Jesus vs Religion debate could go on longer than Peter Jackson’s extended cut of Lord of the Rings. It’s easy to say that Christianity isn’t a religion it’s a relationship. But tell your mates at the footy club this and you’ll more than likely receive a raised eyebrow and a changed subject. So let’s have a quick look, and I mean a really quick look, by asking what religion is. If you ask most people, you’ll get an answer along the lines of…

a series of practices that are followed to please a deity and achieve spiritual enlightenment. 

If you look at this loose definition you can see some parallels between many of the practices set up by God through Moses in the Old Testament. So if doing “religious” stuff (as appointed by God’s Word) isn’t inherently wrong, I guess the real guts of the Jesus vs Religion discussion comes down to where you are coming from.

I find that when Jesus talks of doing “religious” stuff he asks us where our heart is in the matter. I think the best illustration is Jesus’ own parable of the two men in the temple in Luke 18:10-14. Both men were doing the same thing. Both were in the temple and both were praying to God. But Jesus points out that they were coming from two very different places. Have a read for yourself and you’ll see what I mean.

So according to Jesus it’s not the stuff we do so much but rather where our heart is. And when our heart is in the right place, the stuff we do as a result is pleasing to God. What a lovely little circle.

The problem with religion, and it has been this way for millennia, is that it is back-to-front and begins with the doing of the stuff, and never really transfers to the heart. A passage that reinforces this is James 1:21-27 where James clearly shows us that we are kidding ourselves when we think we can simply get by with going through the religious motions.

This film, using one mans personal testimony and talent in poetry, does a brilliant job of putting this into perspective.

So for me, religion isn’t the real problem, the heart is. I think that this video drives this home. On the surface you may feel like it just gives an excuse not to go to church, but if you listen you’ll find that it is really asking you WHY you go to church.

Is it really Jesus vs Religion, or is it really spirit vs flesh? What do you think? Do you think there is a place in the Kingdom of God for religion?

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Comments 5

  1. Susy Miranda

    I think this guy is going into the extreme. I met Jesus in a youth group of a catholic church, You CAN’T rule yourself and just say you know Jesus and love Jesus. The Church have been there for more than 2000 years!! He left the Eucharist Sacrament, the confession, baptism more things to follow him and get you to heaven. YOU CAN’T SEPARATE ONE THING FROM ANOTHER. The type of people the guy in this video is referring to, THEY ABSOLUTELY DON’T KNOW JESUS AT ALL. Like people I heard saying: OOh when I was a catholic, I was an alcoholic, now I’m at this other church/religion and I’m a new man. THAT’S BS***!! That people NEVER WERE REAL CATHOLICS, they were just people following a tradition but not really willing to open their harts and really know Jesus. So I think this guy here IS TOTALLY WRONG.

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  3. Anna

    I don’t really see how James 1:21-27 is James saying “that we are kidding ourselves when we think we can simply get by with going through the religious motions.” James 1:21-27 stresses the importance of doing good deeds rather than just thinking about doing them, hearing the good news of the gospel and then acting on it. The doing part of faith is extremely important: as James also says, “So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” I agree that going through the motions is not the best option, but doing the work of God even when we don’t want to is a part of faith and commitment to Christ. A Christian cannot rely on his own emotions to determine when he should follow God; we’re too moody. If that means that sometimes I may just be going through the motions, then I’m ok with that, because I will be seeking God during those periods and guarding against contentment with just the motions of religion.

    1. Rob Stinson Post
      Rob Stinson

      Hi Anna.
      Thanks so much for your thoughts. I actually really agree with you. I suppose what I was trying to point out with that statement was that I consider just “hearing” and not “doing” as going through the religious motions. For instance, going to Church on a Sunday but then never allowing what you hear and learn to carry over into your Monday through to Saturday life is no good.
      I do focus heavily on the condition of the Heart in this article. But I’m a strong believer in that it only begins with the heart. It must, as you point out, transfer into actions. The problem I see is that many people skip the heart and just do the stuff.
      You are right as well when you say that sometimes it is important to do the work of Christ even when we don’t feel like it. We are definitely too moody! I believe that persisting, even when we don’t feel like it, often achieves more than when we do. If that makes sense.
      Thanks again for contributing to this discussion. There’s a whole lot more to it than I could ever put into one article.
      God bless

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